Ask Buck

Bear & Vinegar

Will vinegar repel bears or harm the environment?

Receive $50 off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you'll find gear for all your adventures outdoors. Sign up for Outside+ today.

Question:

Will vinegar repel bears or harm the environment?

Answer:

Black bears have run away after being sprayed with vinegar, but I wouldn’t greet a grizzly that way. It might make him angrier. Vinegar sprayed on a tent won’t repel bear because it loses its pungent aroma fairly quickly, especially in damp conditions. But since it’s sour wine loaded with lots of ascetic acid, this preservative shouldn’t harm or soil plants.